Can you help me design a carnivorous fantasy plant?
Glenn Lumsden, US
In real life carnivorous plants are pretty much like a poacher’s snare or a pit trap, a simple mechanism that lures insects with a sweet smell to make them fall into the trap. So a reality-based carnivorous plant should be designed to look like one of those ‘traps’. But if you want to design a fantasy-based carnivorous plant, you have no boundaries – you can let your imagination fly, since in a fantasy setting a carnivorous plant could be able to move and attack, for example. So basically you have to mix elements from two different sources: plant-like elements and elements related to carnivorous animals (such as jaws, fangs, claws…) or even just elements related to the animal kingdom generally (digestive system or veins). The purpose is to create a design with elements that tells the viewer ‘this is a plant but it eats meat’.
So, for example, choose a plant and then choose an animal. Next, start thinking about how to blend them together, how to fuse animal traits into a plant – fangs could become thorns, tongues could become vines or skin could become bark. At the same time, try to keep the design functional. Imagine how the plant hunts: is it a simple trap like real carnivorous plants, or does it have some intelligence, so that it can move and attack?
For this plant I mixed a pumpkin with a barracuda, adding ‘veins’ and something like intestines inside the pumpkin to suggest a digestive system. Don’t limit yourself to mixing obvious choices, like a flower with human teeth. Try to doodle different animals and plants and see what you can come up with.